But the main market of Bordeaux is definitely not the only market worth a visit when you’re in the region. Due to the French people’s tendency to buy everything fresh from the market, there are plenty of open-air markets taking place in different parts of Bordeaux on a daily basis. Besides the small weekly markets in the different neighborhoods of the city, there are several big covered ones that are open daily and offer a great shopping and dining experience.
The Southwest is one of the most prolific agricultural regions in France, so visiting markets here is an absolute must. You have the most delicious strawberries from Lot et Garonne, tomatoes from Marmande, sheep cheese from the Basque country, and duck from the Dordogne. That’s just a tiny list of delicacies you’ll find in Bordeaux’s markets. In this article, I will help you discover the best food markets in Bordeaux, both in the city center and in the suburbs. Let’s start!
If you’re traveling in other parts of the Southwest, check out my article about the best markets in Toulouse, which is another foodie city in the region.
The BestFood Markets in Bordeaux city
Marché des Capucins – the central market of Bordeaux
The Capucins market is one of the most visited places in Bordeaux. It’s the city’s biggest daily market and has everything from fruits and spices to local sweets and plenty of oyster stands. This is the best place to discover the gastronomy of the southwest of France and if you’re a foodie, it might take you a few good hours.
After you stroll the market, upgrade your experience with a delicious lunch in one of the many restaurants in the market. If you need help choosing what and where to eat, check out my article about the best places to eat in Marche des Capucins.
This is a covered market so it can also be a perfect place to escape to on one of Bordeaux’s many rainy days. Weekends are especially busy at Marche des Capucins with locals meeting their friends for oysters and wine after their market run. So if you want to get a table on a Sunday be sure to be there before 11 am.
If you don’t have a lot of time, the best way to discover this huge market is by taking a food tour. You can join the great group food tour of the No Diet club or join a more in-depth private tour with Anne, who’s a chef, and an amazing food tour in Bordeaux. Check Anne’s website for details. Opening hours: Open daily except Mondays, see opening hours / Address: Place des Capucins, 33800 Bordeaux
Marche des Quais – the market with the most beautiful view
Every Sunday morning dozens of food stalls with the best oysters of the region, fresh fruits, vegetables, cheese, fish, wine, and plenty of food trucks are installed on the Quai des Chartrons. It’s one of the most popular markets in Bordeaux for locals and tourists alike thanks to the quality of the products and the stunning setting on the riverfront.
Besides the local products you can buy at the market, it’s simply a very nice spot to have an early lunch. For many visitors, the main attraction is the oyster stalls, serving you a plate of six oysters with a cold white wine from the region. It kind of embodies the good life atmosphere in this region :). If you want to have a table be sure to be at the market no later than 11:30.
On Thursdays, a smaller market takes place at the same place. It hosts only a few stalls and doesn’t have the lively atmosphere of the Sunday market but if you need good organic products to cook at home, it’s a good market to go to.
Opening hours: Every Sunday and Thursday morning / Address: Place des Capucins, 33800 Bordeaux
Les Halles de Bacalan – the posh market of Bordeaux
This fancy food market opened its gates in November 2017 and has been visited by more than 60,000 people in the first month. It’s no surprise, as Bordeaux is well known for its gourmand population.
This impressive 950m2 hangar is located just in front of the famous Cité du Vin and hosts many different artisans and merchants that were chosen for the quality of their products (85% of which are produced in the Southwest of France).
Most weekends the market hosts different events like pintxos evenings, cooking workshops, music concerts, and activities for kids. This is one of the best places to go for an afternoon drink and tapas with friends.
If you have time, you can stay a bit longer and explore one of the rising neighborhoods in the city. Read about it in my article about the Bacalan district. If you would also like to visit one of the best wine museums in the world, check out my article about visiting the Cité du Vin.
Opening hours: from Tuesday to Sunday (the market closes between 14:30 t0 16:30 on weekdays) / Address: 149 Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux
Marché Royal in Saint Michel
Marché Royal is one of the biggest open-air markets in Bordeaux, taking place every Saturday morning at Place Meynard in the Saint Michel district. The surroundings of the church and bell tower are covered by tens of stalls, with merchants selling everything from fruits and vegetables to kitchen supplies, clothes, and even pillows :).
From my experience, this is the cheapest market in Bordeaux. However, if you’re looking for organic produce, this one is probably not for you. On sunny Saturday mornings, the market attracts both locals, doing their weekly shopping, and outsiders that come for the noisy market atmosphere and chic cafés.
On Monday mornings a different market is taking place in front of the church. You will find very diversified merchandise displayed on the stands of Marché Neuf, including books, house supplies, clothing, toys, and more. However, it’s not a food market and doesn’t have the vibe of Marché Royal. This market is composed of hundreds of stands but has a more local vibe to it.
On Sundays and Fridays, antiques and flea markets are also taking place on the same square so this place is always worth a visit.
Opening hours: Saturday for the food market, and Monday, Friday, and Sunday for the other markets / Address: Place Meynard, 33000 Bordeaux
Marché de Producteurs Saint-Seurin
The farmers market of Saint Seurin takes place every Friday morning at Place des Martyrs de la Résistance, about 10 minutes walk from the center of Bordeaux. It is a fairly small market with about 20 stalls but has a very cozy atmosphere and a variety of high-quality products from local farmers.
In addition, it’s located on a beautiful square next to one of the most impressive churches of Bordeaux, la Basilique Saint Seurin, so it’s definitely worth a visit.
Opening hours: Every Friday Morning (7:00-13:00) / Address: Place des Martyrs de la Résistance
Markets around Bordeaux Metropole
Les Halles de Talence – one of my favorite places in Bordeaux
The Talence market is the little brother of the Bacalan market, built by Biltoki in December 2018. This market has a more local vibe to it with people from Talence (the university town of Bordeaux) coming here for their daily shopping. The market offers stalls of meat, seafood, bakery, and more.
However, the fun part is that it also has a tapas bar and many other places to get ready food from. In the center of Les Halles de Talence, you’ll find the Biltoki Bar, where all the locals gather to have their morning coffee or afternoon apero. It also has quite a big terrace, where all the locals meet their friends, especially on weekends.
In the last couple of years, the market organizes plenty of cute events with live music and workshops for kids. See their Instagram for more info.
Like les Halles de Bacalan, this too has a bit of a posh vibe to it compared to Marche des Capucins. The prices are not very cheap, but it has everything you need, including a great atmosphere.
Every Wednesday there’s also an open-air market (in front of the covered market) that offers great products at much more reasonable prices. If you want to stay for lunch, a few nice food trucks are there to welcome you every Wednesday until about 14:00.
When: Daily except for Mondays, the market closes for a break between 14:30 to 16:30 on weekdays / Where: Place Alcala de Henares, 33400 Talence
Thouars Talence – Every Sunday
Let’s stay in Talence just a little bit longer as there’s another great market I must mention in this list. This one takes place every Sunday morning in the Thouars forest in Talence, just in front of the swimming pool.
This is the biggest weekly market of Talence with tens of stands with great French products. I particularly love going there for the big variety of fruits and veggies and for the deals at the fish stall (if you come towards noon of course).
This isn’t only a food market! You can also find other practical things like plants, clothing, and kitchen accessories. The market is located within a few steps from a lake within a forest so you can also make a nice picnic day out of it. It’s not the easiest one to get to by public transport but if you have a car it’s worth a visit.
When: Sunday morning / Where: the parking of 235 Avenue de Thouars, 33400 Talence
Le Marché du Centre-ville de Mérignac
Another market I really love visiting during the weekend is the Merignac city center market. A short ride on tram A from the center of Bordeaux will take you to one of the best markets in the city.
The market takes place every Wednesday and Saturday morning on Place Charles de Gaulle, just next to Mediatheque Mérignac, the city library. It offers stalls of regional wine, a huge variety of cheese, nuts, honey, pastries, and all the basics like vegetables, meat, and fish.
A few tables have been put in place for you to enjoy a nice cup of coffee from the market’s coffee roaster stall.
When: Wednesday and Saturday / Where: Place Charles de Gaulle, Merignac
A very nice market takes place in the center of Pessac every Tuesday and Saturday morning. Pessac is one of the more charming suburbs of Bordeaux and a market day is a good excuse to visit its lovely city center. The market isn’t big but the products are excellent, I especially love the cheese stall. And as a bonus, you can finish your market tour with a drink in one of the coffee places on the square.
You can reach it easily by public transport, just take tram B from the center of Bordeaux to Pessac Centre.
A much bigger market is taking place not far from the center every Sunday morning. Le marché Bourrec, on Avenue Pierre Wiehn is hosting more than 150 merchants and farmers coming from all the departments surrounding Bordeaux (Lot et Garonne, Dordogne, Landes…) with the best products of our region. This market also has stalls of clothing, art, and more.
When: Tuesday and Saturday and Sunday / Where: Place de la Ve République and Avenue Pierre Wiehn. Pessac.
Marché de Rochefort – Gradignan
Marché de Rochefort is a great option for those living in the Southern suburbs of Bordeaux. More than 70 merchands arrive here every Saturday morning selling everything from meat to cheese and fish, flowers, and more.
It’s a very local market with a cozy vibe to it. People are greeting each other and the customers share their cooking ideas and stories from their family dinners with the merchants who come here every week. It’s a very nice market if you’re looking for a calmer local vibe rather than a touristy atmosphere.
It’s located next to the central road of Gradignan, Cours du Général de Gaulle so it’s easy to get there by public transport from Bordeaux and Talence (bus line 10 stops next to it).
When: Saturday morning (8:00-13:00) / Where: rue de Rochefort ( between the cemetery and le collège des Fontaines de Monjous), Gradignan.
Marché de Bassens
The Bassens market is less known by most tourists but it’s actually one of the biggest markets in our region and one of the most popular among people on the rive droite of the Garonne. The market takes place every Sunday at Place de la Commune de Paris in Bassen, a town located just after Lormont.
Almost 150 stalls are waiting for you with some of the best products in the southwest of France. There are oysters from Arcachon and from Ile de Re, charcuterie from the Basque country, tarts from the Landes, and other produce from almost every corner of Nouvelle Aquitaine. Among them, there are quite a few food stalls like Morocain couscous, Portuguese grilled chicken, and a coffee place. You can spend a really fun morning here, strolling the many alleys of the market and tasting local food.
When: Sunday morning (9:00-13:00) / Where:place de la Commune de Paris, Bassens
*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂
With the highest number of restaurants per person in France, Bordeaux is heaven for foodies. If you find youreself hungry in this city, finding a place to eat will be an easy task 🙂 However, food specialty boutiques selling cheese, chocolate or products from the southwest of France are not as easy to find as one might think. I receive many messages from both tourists and locals asking me about the best streets for foodies, and hidden places where they could find specialty products that aren’t available at the supermarket.
Luckily that is exactly the research I had to do when I was building my food tours. I spend several days simply strolling the streets of Bordeaux, looking for those special places I can take my tourists to. Today I want to share some of these foodie secrets with you! In this article, I gathered a list of my favorite foodie streets in Bordeaux. Here you will find the best patisseries, specialty chocolate places, quality coffee, cute little cheese shops and more. So if you’re in a discovery mode, join me for a foodie ride in the streets of Bordeaux!
Foodie streets at the historic center of Bordeaux
rue des Remparts
Let’s start with one of my favorite foodie streets in Bordeaux center- rue des Remparts, located just next to the city hall of Bordeaux. At first glance, it looks like many other streets in this district full of fashionable boutiques and art galleries, but it’s actually one of the richest gastronomical streets in Bordeaux. As you climb the street heading north you’ll pass by plenty of specialty shops, many of which are focused on a specific local product. There are two great chocolate shops on this street. The first one is Mademoiselle de Margaux which sells specialty chocolates from Margaux located in the Medoc wine region and the other is a famous chocolate shop from Bayonne – l’Atelier de Bayonne. You’ll also find a fancy cheese shop (Chez Delphine) where you can stop for some wine and cheese (the best thing to do when in Bordeaux). Besides that, there are quite a few interesting shops you should keep an eye on, among them Pierre Oteiza with their Basque charcuterie and Noisettines du Médoc with their nut products from Medoc as well as Oliviers & Co, an olive oil shop.
Rue de la Vieille Tour
Once you finish rue des Remparts you’ll see the beautiful Porte Dijeaux on your left. Continue straight into another magical street that you might have missed when strolling the city – rue de la Vieille Tour. Until a few years ago rue de la Vieille Tour was just a quiet back street in the Hotel de Ville neighborhood. Today many people know it thanks to the presence of one of the best coffee shops in Bordeaux – l’Alchimiste. Just in front of the coffee place sits the second star of this street, the dunes blanches. This pastry was born a few years ago in Cap Ferret and was since embraced by the locals as a proper Bordelais pastry. I often stop there on my food tours and peoples’ reaction to the yummy cream-filled pastries never disappoints :). On the same little street, you can find two of the best chocolate shops in Bordeaux, Hasnaa Chocolat grand cru and La Maison Darricau. If you’re in the mood for a good homemade cake and tea don’t miss the cozy Mona cafe.
The next street on my list is still in the Hotel de Ville neighborhood but this time we’re heading towards the river on Rue des Trois Conils. I find this street a bit less charming than rue des Remparts but it’s no less interesting when it comes to food. In just two minutes’ walk, you’ll find two great chocolate shops (Yves Thuriès and Jeff de Bruges), a delicious Spanish ham place (Viandas de Salamanca), a chic canned products shop (Conserverie la belle-iloise) and more. It’s even more attractive if you love cooking or baking as there are two big cooking shops in the middle of the street, my favorite is Alice Delice. One of the most interesting boutiques on this street is La Trinitaine Biscuiterie. Here you can find plenty of traditional local sweet specialties like cookies and chocolate that are not easy to find in the center of Bordeaux. One such example is the Bouchon de Bordeaux, you can read more about this and other local desserts in my article about the sweets of Bordeaux.
Le marché des Grands Hommes
The triangle d’Or district in the center of Bordeaux is probably one of the most attractive areas in the city when it comes to foodie boutiques. Here you can find some of the best wine shops and a number of lucrative chocolate boutiques. For example, just next to the Opera, on allee de Tourny, you will find l’Intendant, a shop that earned the name “the wine library of Bordeaux” due to its wide selection of local wine. Just a few steps from there, don’t miss the oldest chocolate shop in Bordeaux, Cadiot Badie.
In my opinion, however, the best foodie places are located on one of the narrow streets surrounding the marché des Grands Hommes, notably, rue Michel Montaigne. If you’re a patisserie snob, you’re likely to find one of the best patissiers on this street. David Capy is one of the best chocolatiers- patissiers in Bordeaux, and a visit there should not be missed. That is also the street I take people who join my food tours for cheese tastings. The shop is called Beillevaire and I especially like it as it’s both a shop and a cheese producer.
More foodie spots around Bordeaux
I bet that most of you visiting Bordeaux for a short period of time have never heard of rue Fondaudège but it’s actually one of the rising stars in Bordeaux. After several years of tram works this street finally got the spotlight it deserves. It’s a long busy street, very different from the cozy streets of the center of Bordeaux, and it’s quite easy to miss all the interesting food shops on it. But if food is your thing, it’s worth taking a few minutes to walk from the city center just to discover this street. Here’s just a short list of some of the specialty shops on this street: Chocolaterie Lalère, if you want a hot chocolate; Aux dix vin, a great little cheese shop; Perrin, a very good bakery and Original US, a shop of American products (a lot of candies 🙂 ). One of my favorite secret spots on this street is a little coffee place named Eriu. Apparently, other expats love it as well as you can often spot some English speakers ordering their scones there.
If you’ve been to Bordeaux for more than two days, most chances are that you have visited this street. Rue Notre Dame in the Chartron district is a stylish street full of boutiques, antique shops and restaurants but it’s especially attractive for foodies. La P’tite Boulangerie Notre-Dame, one of Bordeaux’s best bakeries is located just in front of the church, you will easily spot it by the long queue. A little pastry shop I especially love is Micheline et Paulette – they have a very small selection of cakes but they are all excellent and the place is super cute. If you want to stop for a cup of coffee don’t miss la Pelle cafe. Check also la Conserverie which will introduce you to a variety of local products and wines. The atmosphere in this place is great and they’re not closing after lunch which is unusual for Bordeaux.
Notre dame street and the central square next to it are full of specialty boutiques and good restaurants so one paragraph will not be enough to cover all of them. You have two choices, go and discover it for yourself or wait for my article about the Chartrons district coming up soon 🙂
Cours Portal is not a very charming street but it definitely deserves a visit if you’re interested in food. It’s a long street but most of the good boutiques are located close to Place du Marché des Chartrons. Remember Beillevaire, the cheese shop I’ve mentioned before? Here you can find their second boutique in Bordeaux. Another good cheese shop is La Fromagerie de Pierre, visit both for the variety. If you like to make quality coffee at home, check out Café refuge, a coffee specialty shop. The coffee roaster machinery there is really impressive! Like every foodie street, Cours Portal has its own little patissier, named Taupy. One of the more interesting places on rue Portal is Gastronomie Des Pyrénées, a specialty shop offering products from the southwest of France.
Marché des Capucins
Although my list includes only streets and not markets in Bordeaux, I had to add the place all foodies in Bordeaux fall for. Marché des Capucins is the ultimate place to go to if you want to explore the food of the Southwest of France. At the market, you have three-cheese shops where you can buy a variety of French cheeses. If you’re looking for a place to taste oysters while in Bordeaux, Chez Jean Me is definitely the place to go to. While on weekdays the atmosphere at the Capucins market is very chill, on weekends many more merchands are coming to sell their produce at the market. The central part gets completely covered with little stands of basque cheese, locally grown fruits and vegetables and plenty of local pastries such as the famous canelés and basque cakes in many flavors. There’s one local pastry in the market you shouldn’t miss called Puits d’amour by Maison Seguin. This little ‘well of love’ will keep you happy all morning 🙂 If you want to read more about sweet local specialties I invite you to read this article about my favorite sweets in Bordeaux. If you want to learn more about the market, check out my article about the best places to eat at Marché des Capucins.
I’m sure that many of you are familiar with other boutiques in Bordeaux where you can find fine cheese and delicious pastries. In this article, I focused on streets with a high concentration of shops selling products that will allow you to discover the gastronomic side of Bordeaux. If you know other streets and interesting specialty shops in Bordeaux, please share them with us in the comments below.
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Le Marché des Capucins is one of the oldest markets in France and it rightfully carries the title “The Belly of Bordeaux”. It’s probably the most important gastronomic center in Bordeaux which makes it a must-visit for anyone traveling to Bordeaux.
The impressive market is abundant with colorful stands of fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese, and other delicacies of the Southwest of France. However, Capucins is much more than a place to get your groceries from, which makes it stand out from many other good markets in France.
Locals go there for their morning coffee, for lunch, or for the sacred combination of oysters and wine. There are so many restaurants and stands at the Bordeaux market that for a newcomer it can be a bit overwhelming. That’s why I decided to gather a list of all my favorite places at Marché des Capucins.
If you don’t have a lot of time, the best way to discover this huge market is by taking a food tour. You can join the great group food tour of the No Diet club or join a more in-depth private tour with Anne, who’s a chef, and an amazing food tour in Bordeaux. Check Anne’s website for details.
When it comes to local food, oysters are one of the highlights of our region. Bordeaux is just one hour away from Arcachon, one of France’s main oyster farming centers. It’s thus not surprising to find good oysters at the main market of Bordeaux.
Chez Jean-Mi became one of Bordeaux’s go-to places for fresh oysters. On weekends, many locals rush here to meet their friends over a plate of oysters and a glass of white wine. Apart from oysters, the place serves a variety of seafood, delicious soups, and more.
You can sit inside and soak up the market atmosphere or grab a table outside to enjoy the sun while you sip your wine. The place tends to be very busy during the weekend so be sure to come early (around 11 am) to get a table.
Opening hours: Tuesdays to Saturdays from 7:00 to 13:45 and Sundays from 9:00 to 15:15.
Bistro Poulette – Mussels in many flavors
Bistro Poulette is a chic restaurant that can easily fit the stylish food scene in the city center. But being located at the market of Bordeaux gives it a unique twist. Food and drinks are being served quite early in the day and you don’t have to wait for lunch to start your gastronomic celebration.
If you come in the morning you can enjoy their breakfast, brunch or take it a bit further with a plate of charcuterie and wine. At lunchtime, you get to enjoy their specialty, which is mussels, served in casseroles and cooked with a variety of sauces like white wine, curry, and more.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, from early morning to 15:00.
Le Guet À Pan
Le Guet À Pan is one of the newest and most modern restaurants in the market. While it’s not a fancy restaurant by no means, I find that they have a more elaborate menu than other restaurants at the Capucins market.
They offer a delicious tapas menu that includes squid, burrata, oysters, and many other dishes from French, Spanish, and Italian cuisines. But also a great lunch menu that with dishes like cod fillet and lamb chops. There’s always a great friendly atmosphere at Le Guet a Pan and the friendly service adds a lot to the good dining experience.
Tortill’art – a Spanish delight at the Bordeaux market
Strolling in the market, you can easily miss this littletortilla bar. But, as it’s one of my favorites at the marché des Capucins, I must spread the word. Juan servers several types of tortillas and delicious Spanish Jambon with wine or a homemade Sangria. Tortillas are his specialty and some of the recipes run in his family for generations.
He’s a super nice guy who you can have a fun chat with while sitting at the bar. What makes this place even more attractive are the prices! You can easily have a full lunch here for less than 10 euros.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday until 13:00 and Saturday and Sunday until 14:30.
Pata Negra – for the best Pintxos
One of the best tapas bars in Bordeaux is located in the Capucins market. In the middle of the week, this place mainly sells Spanish delicacies but on weekends it turns into a fantastic tapas bar with a huge variety of pintxos. Once you’re seated by the hostess and get your plate you can start picking the Pintxos.
There is one problem though! there are so many of them that it’s really hard to choose only a few. Just be sure not to throw the long toothpicks holding the pintxos, as that’s how the restaurant knows how much to charge you. This is a very popular place so if you’re in the mood for delicious tapas, be sure to come early.
Opening hours of the bar (you can buy their products to take home from Tue to Sun): Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 to 15:30
Les Jardins – delicious lunch and tapas
Another fun place for lunch is Les Jardins. This little restaurant has a great variety of dishes on its daily menu. You can enjoy local meat dishes and many French delicacies like snails, oysters, and shrimp. The service is super friendly, especially when you’re coming in the middle of the week. The owner really tries to give attention to every customer which is refreshing.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 9:00 to 13:00, Saturday 5:00 to 14:00
Les Puits d’Amour – a magical dessert before you leave the market
This beautiful pastry carries the name le Puit d’amour, a well of love. It’s a local pastry, created by Maison Seguin in a little town South to Bordeaux called Captieux. Les Puit d’amour is filled with crème Chiboust (a mix of crème pâtissière and an Italian meringue). It’s a perfect bite-size end to your market journey. Be aware that they arrive every day with only a few trays of les Puits d’Amour and once they finish selling them, puff they’re gone. So be sure to pass by before lunch and buy a box for later.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 9:00 until the last puit d’amour 🙂
*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂
As someone living in this city, writing an article about things to do on a weekend in Bordeaux is not as easy as you might think. In the last few years, this amazing city has been booming with festivals, art events, amazing coffee places, and a sea of gastronomic restaurants. So choosing the best things to do over a few days is almost impossible, but I will give it a try nevertheless 🙂
For many years, Bordeaux was nicknamed the sleeping beauty. A stunning city turned into a somewhat shady town following years of neglect. However, in the last two decades, the beautify has been awakened following a massive restoration work done by its administration. The goal was to make Bordeaux an attractive town to tourists again and give it back its well-deserved glory.
The makeover included the restoration of monuments, modern tram lines, a building of a long beautiful promenade, an extensive cleaning of all the facades, and more. That plan was a great success with Bordeaux becoming one of the most interesting and popular destinations in Europe in the last decade.
Bordeaux has 362 historic monuments (second only to Paris), to visit them all will probably take weeks. So here in this article, I will cover only the most interesting/ beautiful ones. If you’re interested in a more deep understanding of the history and architecture of Bordeau you might consider the two hours guided walking tour, offered by the tourist office. Or a guided bicycle tour that will allow you to discover some of the most interesting spots in Bordeau in just a few hours.
Also, despite it being the world capital of wine, I did not include wine-related activities in this article. I believe you need more than two days from that. If however, you do want to include a wine-related experience on your visit here, check out my articles about the Bordeaux wine region and wineries in Saint Emilion.
Although this guide proposes a specific route to follow, feel free to take whatever you want from the list, and adapt it to your style of travel. You can switch the order of places you’re planning to visit but pay attention to things that are taking place only on Saturdays or Sundays. This list is quite dense so if you come for more than two days, feel free to reduce the pace and take some time to visit the city more calmly, and enjoy its cafés and the general atmosphere.
*If you’re also planning to visit Toulouse while traveling in the region read my detailed guide to a weekend in Toulouse.
A weekend in Bordeaux -Day 1
Place de la Victoire
Start your day from Place de la Victoire, on the southern end of Bordeaux’s shopping street rue Sainte Catherine. The impressive square you can recognize by the 18th-century arc and the marble obelisk at its center.
Its proximity to the busiest street in the city, the University campus, and the numerous cafes and bars give it a very young and happy vibe. It’s not one of my favorite squares in Bordeaux but it’s a great place to start your discovery tour of Bordeaux. If you only have one day in Bordeaux, you can skip Place de la Victoire and focus on the most beautiful monuments in the city.
Marché des Capucins – discover local gastronomy
It’s never too early to start your gastronomic discovery of Bordeaux and for that, there’s no better place than Marché des Capucins.
The Capucins, the biggest daily market in Bordeaux has everything from stands of fruits and vegetables, sweets, spices, and a bunch of lively cafés and restaurants. It’s the best place to taste some of the specialties of this region like oysters, duck products, and sheep cheese.
It’s a covered market so you can enjoy it on the city’s numerous rainy days. Most cafes and restaurants also have tables outside where you can have a coffee or an early lunch. During the weekend, the market is packed with locals, who gather to eat oysters accompanied by white wine. Be sure to come early if you want to catch a table.
Before you go, be sure to check out my article about the best places to eat at the Marché des Capucins. The market is open from Tuesday to Sunday, however, be aware that not all the restaurants and stands are open on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Now after opening the morning at the market we can start touring Bordeaux and admire its beautiful architecture.
If you followed my advice and went to the market, your next destination should be Saint Michel. From Place des Capucins continue to rue Clare which brings you to the heart of the Saint Michel neighborhood. If you don’t have two full days in Bordeaux skip Saint Michel and go to the next item.
Discover the Saint Michel neighborhood
Saint Michel is skipped by many tourists. But I think that its authentic atmosphere, chic cafes, and markets make it one of the more interesting places in Bordeaux. There are many things to do and see in this area and you have more time to discover the neighborhood, be sure to read my detailed guide to Saint Michel. If, however, you are short in time and just want the “best of”, this is what I suggest:
The Basilica of Saint Michel – classified as a world heritage by UNESCO in 1998 stands at the heart of this lively neighborhood. It is located on the main square, Place Meynard, surrounded by plenty of cafes, restaurants, and bars.
la Flèche Saint-Michel – Just next to the basilica you’ll find the Saint Michel bell tower, one of the main monuments of the city. I highly recommend climbing it to see a magnificent view of Bordeaux.
The market on Saturday – Every Saturday there’s a local market around the Basilica. Even if you don’t need to buy anything I’d still recommend going there on a Saturday morning just for the atmosphere
Antiques – if you love antique markets, whether it’s to buy or just to have a look, you’re at the right place. This neighborhood has several antique places that are open daily. Check out my guide to Saint Michel for a detailed list of addresses.
We are now going to enter the historic center of Bordeaux! If you’re short on time, I recommend starting the tour here!
The Grosse Cloche – one of the most impressive monuments in Bordeaux
From Place Meynard (in Saint Michel) take rue des Faures to get to one of the main streets in the center of Bordeaux (rue Victor Hugo). After a minute’s walk, on your right, you’ll see the spectacular bell town called the Grosse Cloche.
The 15th-century bell tower is one of the most prominent symbols of Bordeaux. The gate was built on the remains of Porte Saint-Éloy, through which the pilgrims of Saint Jacques passed on their way to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
You will now be entering the historic center of Bordeaux through the Quartier de la Grosse Cloche/ Saint Paul. Let yourself be charmed by the narrow paved streets of this small neighborhood. It’s one of my favorite districts of Bordeaux, full of chic cafés and boutiques.
Rue Saint James
The first street you encounter when entering through the Grosse Cloche gate is Rue Saint James. This is one of the most charming streets in the neighborhood, with beautiful coffee shops (such as books and coffee ) chic boutiques, and specialized shops. Take some time to discover this street as well as the lovely narrow streets around it.
Continue on the street until you get to Place Fernand Lafargue. A long time ago this square used to be the city’s market and today it’s one of the best spots for a nice Lunch. The square and the emerging streets are a real food hub with plenty of cafes, bars, and a variety of restaurants from hamburgers to Sushi and Ramen soup.
A few of my recommendations areApollo bar for a drink, Wine More Time for a glass of wine, Frida restaurant for a brunch on a nice terrace, Kokomo for a great hamburger, and Piha for a great coffee.
After you finish strolling around the Grosse Cloche continue on Cr d’Alsace-et-Lorraine until you get to rue Sainte Catherine.
Shop on rue Sainte-Catherine
Sainte Catherine is the longest pedestrian street in France. A long strip of shops where you can find all main clothing retail stores as well as boutiques of cosmetics, jewelry, books, and more.
The Southern part of the street (closer to Place de la Victoire) is where you’ll find most of the cheap clothing shops. The big chain clothing stores are located in the northern part of the streets. After you finish your shopping go back to Place Saint Projet, a square in the middle of rue Sainte Catherine. Now take rue des Trois-Conils and walk towards the main cathedral of Bordeaux on Place Pey Berland.
Visit the main Cathedral of Bordeaux on Place Pey Berland
Place Pey Berland is one of the most central squares of Bordeaux and home to the main Cathedral of Bordeaux and its town hall. It’s also one of the liveliest neighborhoods in Bordeaux with many coffee places, chocolate shops, museums, and art galleries.
Cathédrale Saint-André de Bordeaux
The Cathedral of Saint André is the main church of Bordeaux and the seat of the Archbishop of Bordeaux. It is a Roman Catholic church that was labeled as a national monument of France. In the evening the Cathedral often hosts concerts of classical music, choirs, and an organ festival during the summer. You can check out more info about the concerts here.
Tour Pey Berland
Just next to the Cathedral, you’ll find its 15th-century bell tower – la Tour Pey Berland. On the top of the tower, the statue of Notre Dame d’Aquitaine rises to the height of 66 m.
If you want to enjoy a beautiful view of Bordeaux climb the 231 stairs of the tower to get to the top. A ticket to the bell tower is 6 euros and free to people below 26 years old. I recommend climbing it only if the weather is good, otherwise, you won’t see much. See the hours and buy tickets here. *If you have the Bordeaux City Pass, you get free entry to the Tour Pey Berland.
Other interesting streets in the Pey Berland neighborhood
From Place Pey Berland continue on rue Vital Carles, alongside the tram B line which goes through the main spots of the center of Bordeaux. On your left, don’t miss one of the city’s establishments – LibrairieMollat, the oldest independent bookstore in France since 1896.
Another place worth mentioning is Porte Dijeaux. This pretty arc is another gate to the historic center of Bordeaux and has been classified as a historic monument in 1921.
Here are three museums in the neighborhood you should know about (all three have free entry with the Bordeaux City Pass):
Musée des Beaux-Arts: is the fine-art museum of Bordeaux and one of the largest art galleries in France outside Paris. See the ongoing exhibitions on their website.
The address: 20 Cours d’Albret, 33000 Bordeaux
Museum of Decorative Arts of Bordeaux – installed in a beautiful chateau, the museum is home to collections of furniture, ceramics, and many other objects dating to the 18th and 19th centuries. The museum also has a nice outdoor coffee place in the beautiful courtyard of the building. See the ongoing exhibitions on their website.
Address: 39 Rue Bouffard, 33000 Bordeaux
Musée d’Aquitaine – If you want to learn about the history and archaeology of Bordeaux and its region (Nouvelle-Aquitaine), this is your best source.
Address: 20 Cours Pasteur, 33000 BordeauxIf you skipped the museums continue walking on Vital Carles street and be ready for a beautiful surprise. At the end of the street, you will turn right to one of the most impressive streets of Bordeaux Cours de l’Intendance. This street conveys the feeling of Bordeaux – historic, beautiful, and very calm- just stand there and take a breath for a second.
Continue on Cours de l’Intendance until you get to Place de la Comédie.
Grand Théâtre – one of the landmarks of Bordeaux
The beautiful 18th-century building on Place de la Comédie will be hard to miss. The Grand Théâtre, the home of the National Opera of Bordeaux is one of Bordeaux’s most important landmarks.
If you have the chance, try to book tickets to one of the concerts at the Opera or the national ballet. If you speak French, I recommend taking a tour of the Grand Théâtre. The tours take place twice a week, not during school breaks or the summer period. You can book your visit here.
Have a fancy meal in one of Bordeaux’s great restaurants
If you want to have a fancy meal while in Bordeaux, Place de la Comedie and its surrounding streets are one of the main spots for fine dining in Bordeaux.
One of my favorite restaurants in Bordeaux is le Quatrième Mur, which belongs to the famous French chef Philippe Etchebest. The restaurant is located inside the Opera of Bordeaux complete with all its lavish decor.
There are of course many other amazing restaurants in Bordeaux such as Bo Tanique, Lauza, and Mably.
Place des Quinconces
Place des Quinconces
Next on our list is Place des Quinconces, the largest city square in France and one of the biggest ones in Europe. On one of the sides of this enormous square, you’ll find le Monument aux Girondins, a spectacular monument dedicated to the members of a political faction that were killed during the French Revolution.
Throughout the year, many different events, festivals, and fairs (like the Brocante de Quinconces and the Foire aux Plaisirs) take place on this square. I tend to write a lot about the events that take place in Bordeaux in my newsletter and monthly to-do lists in Bordeaux.
If you’ve been following my guide so far, you’ve probably walked quite a bit. This would be the perfect time to rest in one of Bordeaux’s most beautiful parks. From Place des, Quinconces continue to Cours du Marechal Foch until you get to Jardin Public.
Do a picnic in Jardin Public
Jardin Public is the largest park in the center of Bordeaux with more than 300 trees and vast green planes – a perfect place for a picnic. It has a large pond (with ducks and geese!), great facilities for kids, and even a nice coffee place. If you’re traveling with kids, it’s really worth visiting the Natural history museum which is situated in the park.
Now back to the city and to the last stop on the first day of discovering Bordeaux – the Chartrons neighborhood.
Leave the park from Cours Xavier Arnozan and continue towards the Garonne river. On your right don’t miss the CAPC, the Contemporary art museum of Bordeaux. This beautiful building was previously used as a warehouse for colonial foodstuffs and today is the house of contemporary art in Bordeaux, curating many exhibitions.
Visit the northern chic district of Bordeaux – Les Chartrons
Located to the north of Bordeaux’s center, Chartrons is a very popular neighborhood with chic boutiques, antiques, and a lot of restaurants. The most interesting part of Chartrons is the main street, rue Notre Dame which is also one of the most foodie streets in Bordeaux. Don’t miss Eglise Saint-Louis des Chartrons, a 19th-century Neo-Gothic church.
Turn left straight after the church to get to the heart of the neighborhood- Halle des Chartrons. There are plenty of restaurants around the central square, with good lunch menus. The Halle des Chartrons often hosts activities and exhibitions, so take a peek inside to see if there’s anything going on.
Start the day at Place du Palais Station (Tram A) to enter the Saint Pierre Neighborhood.
Enjoy the squares of the Saint Pierre neighborhood
Saint Pierre is the most ancient district of Bordeaux and the tourist heart of the city. There aren’t any major monuments to see in this part of town but the little narrow paved streets and the beautiful lively squares are what make it one of the more pleasant places in Bordeaux.
I’ll mention some of the best things to do in this neighborhood, but I really recommend just taking a few hours to get lost in the charming narrow streets and get a feel of historic Bordeaux.
From Cours d’Alsace et Lorraine turn to place du Palais. This is the first of many squares you’ll see while touring the neighborhood and probably the most beautiful one.
The magnificent Porte Cailhau, a monument that looks like it has been taken from a fairy tale cannot be missed. This gate was built in 1495 to commemorate the glory of king Charles VIII. On the square itself, you’ll find a few nice cafes and restaurants with a view of the medieval gate.
One I particularly like here is Tutiac, Le Bistro Vignerons.
There are three other squares worth mentioning in this neighborhood, all of which are beautiful and abundant with cute terrace restaurants. Each one is quite unique and worth a visit, but if you don’t have much time don’t feel obligated to visit all the squares.
Place Camille Julian
Place Camille Julianis one of the busiest squares in towns. Its main highlight is Utopia, a monastery turned into a cinema with a varied program of both blockbuster movies and small independent films.
Place Saint Pierre
The little square of Place Saint Pierre is where Bordeaux was born in the 3rd century. In the center stands the main church of the neighborhood Gothic Flamboyant styled Église Saint-Pierre. This historic monument used to be the main praying temple of the craftsmen and traders living in the area in medieval times.
Place du Parlement
Another beautiful square in this lovely neighborhood is Place du Parlement, which was classified as a historic monument in 1952. This is yet another spot with many cafés with tables outside, perfect for a sunny day in Bordeaux. The Parlement square is located just a few steps from one of the important squares of Bordeaux – Place de la Bourse.
Miroir d’eau – the most popular attraction in Bordeaux
From Place du Parlement continue to rue Fernand Philippart until you reach Place de la Bourse, a masterpiece of classic French architecture from the 18th century. Don’t miss the famous mascarons of Bordeaux, the little faces looking at you from the arches of the buildings. There are more than 3000 of them decorating the buildings and monuments of Bordeaux.
In front, on the quay of the Garonne river, you’ll find one of the most popular attractions in Bordeaux – le Miroir d’eau! This modern monument, built in 2006, is the world’s largest reflecting pool. The surface is made from blue granite covered in water, reflecting the 18th-century Place de la Bourse.
During the summer months, the system of le miroir d’eau operates in cycles of 15 minutes creating a shallow pool where you can wet your feet. The sight of little kids running in the water creates one of the most beautiful and photogenic moments that you can experience in Bordeaux.
Take a walk on the quai – Bordeaux’s promenade
The promenade on the board of the Garonne is one of Bordeaux’s highlights. In recent years, since the renovation of the area, the riverfront became one of the city’s most central spots, hosting many events and festivals during the summer.
The 4.5 km promenade is also perfect for a walk or a bicycle tour. The most interesting part of it is between the two bridges of Bordeaux – Pont Saint Pierre in the center and Pont Chaban Delmas in the north of the city. This trail includes the water mirror as well as big playgrounds for kids, restaurants with a view of the river, and the Chartrons Market, which is our next stop.
One of the best markets in Bordeaux takes place every Sunday morning at Quai de Chartrons. The Chartrons market hosts dozens of food stalls, fruits, vegetables, cheese, fish, and plenty of food trucks.
The market is usually quite busy with both locals and tourists, especially if you come towards noon, but it’s still worth the visit. For many visitors, the main attraction is the few stalls with oysters and a bottle of dry white wine. This, in a way, embodies life in the region 🙂
From here (if you have more time left) will start discovering Bacalan, the northern district of Bordeaux, with is rather different from the center of Bordeaux. From the market just continue walking north on the riverfront until you reach the Chaban Delmas bridge.
Pont Chaban Delmas
Pont Chaban Delmas is a modern bridge, named after the previous mayor of the city, which was inaugurated in 2013. It’s the longest vertical-lift bridge in Europe and seeing it elevating to let the tall ships pass is a very impressive sight. On the way there you will pass by several hangars that were turned into restaurants, boutiques, and a fantastic science museum for kids (Cap Sciences).
La Cité du Vin – Bordeaux wine museum
Just next to the bridge, you’ll find one of Bordeaux’s main attractions – la cité du vin. The wine museum of Bordeaux is a one-of-a-kind cultural center, all dedicated to discovering the wine world. It’s a “must” place for wine lovers but can also be very interesting and enjoyable for people who don’t drink at all.
The museum offers an immersive exhibition to help you discover both French and global wine history. You will learn about winemaking, see movies and interviews with wine producers and then smell and taste wine.
Click here to buy tickets to the wine museum in advance to avoid the line.
Read more about visiting the world’s best wine museum in my article about the Cité du Vin.
Les Halles de Bacalan
Les Halles de Bacalan is a covered market that was inaugurated in 2017 and immediately became one of the most popular spots in Bordeaux. This impressive 950m2 hangar is located just in front of the famous Cité du vin and hosts tens of stalls with amazing food and drinks.It’s a perfect place to stop by for a snack or a drink when discovering the Bacalan district.
Take a boat to the other side of the Garonne
Now it’s time to discover the other side of the Garonne river – the Bastide neighborhood. It’s yet another district of Bordeaux worth exploring if you have time. There are a few ways to get to the Bastide district. You can either cross the bridge (it’s a very nice walk but will take some time), take a bus or take a boat.
Since 2013 the public transport system in Bordeaux has introduced a ferry (navette fluviale) that will cross you over to the other side. The ferry which operates from 7 am to 7 pm, stops at five stations: Stalingrad, Quinconces, les Hangars, La Cité du Vin and Lormont. If you followed my guide up to now, take the navette at La Cité du Vin and get down at Stalingrad (on the other side of the river).
You can use the boat and all other public transport in Bordeaux free of charge if you have the Bordeaux City Pass.
Arriving from Place de Stalingrad you have a nice walk on the riverfront to get to our next stop. On the way don’t miss le Jardin Botanique de Bordeaux. This beautiful park was created to allow the wide public to discover the world of plants, biodiversity, and sustainability. It’s definitely not a must-stop, but can be a great spot for a picnic with kids.
From the part continue straight on the riverfront until you get to our next stop – Darwin.
Darwin – the hipster hub of Bordeaux
Darwin is probably one of the most surprising places in Bordeaux. An old military base turned into an urban space with a workspace/incubator for startups, a skate park for all ages, a restaurant, and many other surprises, all with an agenda of ecological awareness.
Whether alone or with kids you can spend hours in Darwin. One of the buildings hosts the restaurant and the Darwin products store with a huge selection of different organic products.
Darwin is also an extraordinary hub of street art done by many local and international street artists. The place hosts many cool events so don’t be surprised if suddenly you see an artisan market or a collection of old cars on display.
The site of the tourist office in Bordeaux has loads of information about all the points of interest in the city as well as about most of the main events. They also offer a lot of tours in and around Bordeaux – so check it out here.
The official site of Bordeaux offers a lot of interesting info about the places you will see (in French)- read it here.
As I said, Bordeaux has a lot to offer! It’s hard to see everything if you only have a day or two but don’t be stressed, just take the time to enjoy the city.
Before we end I want to help out those who are looking for accommodation in Bordeaux! If you’re looking for a hotel, I have an article with recommendations about the best hotels in Bordeaux for different budgets. If you’re looking for an Airbnb or just want to understand where you should stay in Bordeaux, you should definitely read my Bordeaux districts guide.
You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:
If you like this article and want to read it again when you’re in Bordeaux – Save it to your Pinterest board!
*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂
Saint Michel is one of the most cosmopolitan and lively neighborhoods in Bordeaux, a home to a mixed population of students, immigrants, artists and people attracted to the hip vibe of the neighborhood. While it’s usually not part of the traditional sights seeing tours of Bordeaux, it’s worth much more than a short visit to the Basilica of Saint Michel and its tower. Saint Michel is located next to some of the most posh areas of Bordeaux and yet it has a completely different feeling to it, at times it feels as if Victor Hugo cuts Bordeaux into two different cities. The neighborhood is home to some of the best markets of Bordeaux, numerous places where you can browse for vintage clothes and furniture and an endless list of lively restaurants and cafes.
This guide to Saint Michel offers you a great variety of things to Do and See in Saint Michel. We’ll go through the most important monuments in the neighborhood and recommend where to eat, drink, shop and have a picnic. This neighborhood is constantly evolving and new places are opening all the time so even if you live in Bordeaux for a while now, I invite you to take a look and re-discover one the happiest places in town.
Basilique Saint Michel
The Saint Michel Basilica, classified as a world heritage of UNESCO in 1998 stands at the heart of this lively neighborhood. This church, built between the 14th and 16th century in a Flamboyant Gothic style, is the biggest parish church in Bordeaux. The Basilica is 75 meters long and is divided into 3 distinct parts. Start your tour from rue Canteloup and go towards Place Meynard in order to have the basilica fully reveal herself.
See Bordeaux from la Flèche Saint-Michel
Just next to the basilica you’ll find the Saint Michel bell tower or “la flèche” as the Bordelaises like to call it. This is one of the main monuments of the city and one of the sights you will often find on postcards of Bordeaux. Built in the 15th century, the bell tower of the basilica is 114 meters high and is the highest bell tower in the south of France. La flèche is a standalone building alongside the basilica, rather than on top of it. During the tourist season the tower is open to visitors and due to its height, offers a magnificent view of the city.
In 1881 a cemetery and catacombs were discovered under the town bell. Several mummies, that were also part of that discovery were shown to the public in the late 18th century. You can learn more about one the biggest mysteries of the city in the film presented in the cellar of the tower. The “Fleche” is located on Place Canteloup and can be visited daily from April to October, the ticket price is 5 euros.
The Saint Michel Market
Marché Royal, one of the biggest open-air markets in Bordeaux, takes place every Saturday morning at Place Meynard. The surroundings of the church and bell tower is filled with more than 100 merchants, selling everything from fruits and vegetables to kitchen supplies, clothes and even pillows :). From my experience, this is the cheapest market in Bordeaux. However, if you are into bio produce, this one is probably not for you. On sunny Saturday mornings, the market attracts both locals, doing their weekly shopping and outsiders that come for the noisy market atmosphere and chic cafés.
On Monday mornings a different market is taking place in front of the church. You will find very diversified merchandise displayed on the stands of Marché Neuf, including books, house supplies, clothing, toys and more, however it’s not a food market and doesn’t have the vibe of Marché Royal. This market is composed of hundreds of stands but has a more local vibe to it.
When: Marché Royal: Saturdays 7am to 1pm; Marché Neuf:Mondays 7am to 1pm
Place Canteloup et Meynard – 33800 Bordeaux
Browsing for Antiques
A French Brocante (secondhand goods market) is a nice way to discover the history, culture and different fashion trends of a city through the interesting stories of the objects you find. It usually doesn’t have a feeling of a flea market but rather a more antiques and vintage vibe to it. In Bordeaux , the brocantes have an important place and besides many local vide greniers (kind of a garage sale), the city hosts a huge brocante twice a year in Place de Quinconces. But if your visit is not planned during this time of the year, Saint Michel proposes a smaller scale brocante all year long.
Les Brocanteurs du Passage
Passage Saint Michel, located just in front of the church is home to 18 stands of antiques dealers and artists, with a variety of art and design items from different periods and styles. The prices are quite high but it can definitely inspire if you are into vintage stuff. The passage is open daily except Monday , see more details here.
Address: 15 place Canteloup, 33800 Bordeaux
Les Hangars is a new space of antiques and vintage pieces of art and furniture. It has a very posh and spacious look to it and is quite pricey but it has a significant selection of antiques.
Address: 18 – 22 Rue des Allamandiers, 33800 Bordeaux
Sunday flea market
Every Sunday morning more than 80 dealers gather at the square in front of the Basilica of Saint Michel for the Brocante du Dimanche. This is the weekly flea market of Bordeaux where you can find real bargains and purchase everything from toys for kids to antique frames and electronic devices. The quality of most of the items is not the highest but as with any flea market, you’ll have to work to find what you’re looking for.
When: Sundays 7am to 2pm
Place Canteloup et Meynard – 33800 Bordeaux
Eat and shop at La Mère Michel
La Mére Michel is the essence of what the main square of the quartier is all about, a combination of a brocante with good food, a great location and a hip atmosphere. It has a beautiful view of the bell tower of Saint Michel, but distant enough from the hustle of the market. On the menu it says “Crêperie-Bistrot-Brocante” and that’s what it is. The house specialty are crepes and the menu is mostly composed of many different types of crepes and galettes, with some traditional plates as well. The interior is decorated with many vintage items and they are all for sale for very affordable prices. Even if you don’t plan on buying anything, I’d still recommend you take a look on the unique design they’ve put in place. On a sunny day, it’s a perfect place for an outside brunch, with tables right on Place Meynard, facing the bell tower and the church. The restaurant is open the whole day on weekends and closes for a break between lunch and dinner on week days.
Address: 22 Place Meynard, 33000 Bordeaux
Drink mint tea
Saint Michel is full of chic cafes and it’s hard to chose one when you want to take a break from antiques browsing. If you stay in the church area you will see that a lot of locals are actually drinking mint tea and not coffee. Until recently Saint Michel was mostly an immigrant neighborhood and many shops and cafés are owned by families who emigrated to Bordeaux from the Maghreb or the Middle East. Glasses stuffed with spearmint is something your’re going to see a lot on Saturday mornings there. My favorite place is Café de la Fraternité which is located on place Meynard right in front of the church.
Address: 27 Place Meynard, 33000 Bordeaux
Buy pastries at la Boulangerie
If you see a long line of people coming from a boulangerie, especially on Saturday morning, you’re at the right place. La Boulangerie (la boutique) on 51 rue des Faures, is a very popular bakery frequented by both locals and tourists. It’s located next to the Bell tower of Saint Michel. The design is very simple and modern with a nice vintage touch. They offer great baguettes and a nice selection of pastry that you can take with you to one of the cafés on Place Meynard.
Address: 251 rue des Faures, 33000 Bordeaux
Buy Mediterranean spices
Alongside the many cafes and restaurants, you will find plenty of shops specializing in mediterranean food, most of them located in Rue des Faures. From outside they may seem as just small supermarkets but if you go inside you’ll discover a paradise of spices such as Sumak, Bahar, Tahini and more. Bordeaux doesn’t have a big immigrant population and specific ingredients are not always easy to find, that’s why this place is a treasure for everyone who is looking to cook an Arabic or Persian dish. My favorite oneis Bazar Istanbul on 84 Rue des Faures, where I’ve always been able to find anything I need.
If you’re planning on a mint tea break, as was suggested before, combine it with some beautiful oriental pastry. France is the Queen of Patisserie, there’s no dispute about that, but if you need a break from the traditional French patisserie, A la rose de Tunis on 70 Rue des Faures, with its huge selection of Tunisian pastry is the place for you.
Saint Michel is a rising area in Bordeaux and a wave of new hip coffee places have established themselves in the neighborhood. Besides the many restaurants next to the main square and all around the area, there are also plenty of relatively new cafés with a hipster vibe to them. Two of my favorite ones are:
Michel ma belle: a small cozy coffee place on 33 Rue Gaspard Philipp, with a great selection of cakes, beautiful interior design and a distant view of the bell tower from the few tables outside.
Excuse my French: Located right in front of Bazar Istanbul on 87 Rue des Faures. There are a few tables on the busy street outside giving it a very lively atmosphere.
Visit the Capucins market
Le Marche des Capucins is a true Bordelaise institution. It’s located a few minutes walk from the main area of Saint Michel and can be seen from the Basilica. This is the biggest daily market and has everything that a good market should have. Stands of Fruits, vegetables, sweets, spices and fish all mixed with lively cafes and restaurants. Most of it is covered so you can enjoy it on the city’s numerous rainy days. Most cafes and restaurants also have tables outside, which makes it a perfect place to hang out with friends and family for an early snack or a proper lunch. In the weekend, the market is packed with locals, who gather to dine oysters accompanied by white wine. Be sure to come early to be able to catch a table. Marché des Capucins is open daily except Monday.
Have a picnic in Parc des Sports
Parc de Sports is a large green area with different sport facilities, located on the bank of the Garonne just in front of the Saint Michel neighborhood. If you walked too much and need to rest, buy some goodies at the market and head to the “Quai” for a picnic. This parc is less known than other picnic spots in the city and is mostly used by the locals, which makes it less crowded on Sunny days. Also, the view of the Garonne is quite impressive so try to find a spot closer to the river.
Silicon is a space of contemporary art with an agenda to promote young local artists. The gallery is located in one of the quieter streets in Saint Michel and is not that easy to spot, but definitely worth a visit if you’re around. See up to date info about the running exhibitions here. The gallery is located on 33 rue Leyteire.
Address: 33 rue Leyteire, 33000
Shop for second hand clothing
There are several second hand clothing shops in the area including Amos, a big chain of solidarity shops in France. One of my favorites is the little boutique on 9 rue des Faures, called Le Fil a Retordre. It looks small but has everything you need, clothes, shoes, books, toys, house decor and even some original designs of clothes and bags recycled from old items, all in very good condition. It’s owned by a nice lady who has owned several second hand shops in Saint Michel in the last 35 years. You can feel she’s a real local with an agenda to make clothes accessible to everyone and has not raised prices despite the rising popularity of the neighborhood.
Address: 9 rue des Faures, 33000
Dinner and concert at Quartier libre
Although it doesn’t look very impressive from the outside, this is one of the best places in town for a nice dinner with a live concert. The menu is usually quite limited but has great value. Most nights a concert is taking place at the bar, with a variety of local bands playing. Wednesday evening is jazz night, and you even have a place to dance if you feel like swinging. Quartier Libre is located on 30 Rue des Vignes.
Address: 30 Rue des Vignes, 33000
Discover rue Camille Sauvageau
There are so many beautiful boutiques, trendy cafes and bars on this street that it requires a separated article. I invite you to take a walk on this charming street that starts from the Basilica of Saint Michel and goes all the way to the Saint Croix neighborhood. Everything feels very stylish, vintage clothing shops, a nice little flower shop, the old buildings and the paved road all add to the charm of this narrow street. Take a long walk to discover the gems on rue Camille Sauvageau.
As this is one of the most growing neighborhoods in Bordeaux there are new cafes, restaurants and boutiques popping up almost weekly so to be really up to date you should visit there frequently. In this list I tried to give you the places that are particularly loved by the locals so you could try and experience your visit through their eyes.
If you go visit and find something new, don’t be shy and comment with your update below.
Share it with friends who are planning to visit Bordeaux this summer. Thanks!!